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Faces of Blue: Valerie McKinney

By March 27, 2016Faces of Blue

I am a wife and mother to two young adults and a fur baby. In addition, I am a teacher who works with middle school students. I am also a caregiver of sorts to my parents who live in an independent living/assisted living facility. I am a child of God.

IMG_0844I knew something was wrong, but when I asked the doctor during a walk-in clinic visit, she said it was more than likely hemorrhoids. My regular doctor checked and set up the colonoscopy which showed a tumor. That was in August of 2015. School started 9/1/15 and I was diagnosed 8/31/15. I have been diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer as the cancer has spread to my liver. During chemo, I was hospitalized with a staph infection. Now, chemotherapy has been on and off. My white counts have been off so the last few treatments had to be cancelled. I am happy to say that this past week my counts were normal so I had chemotherapy. I am thankful that my side effects have been manageable- I just have the cold sensitivity, a little nausea and fatigue.

I think my cancer diagnosis has brought my family closer because we truly have to rely on each other. It has shown me how truly wonderful my friends are as well as some family. It has made me change for the better. Before, I always took care of everyone else, now I have to stop and put myself first and it’s not being selfish. I fight for my family and for myself.

IMG_0842My advice is to be strong because you are a fighter and stay positive above all us. You will have your days and that’s okay but don’t let the bad take over. Above all, stay off the internet and don’t read the statistics because everybody’s story is different. Get your rear in gear means don’t wait on getting checked. It’s important. It’s been an experience, but I plan to come out on the other side. This has been a year.¬†

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